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RV Service Centers and Repairs Report: ‘RVs are rolling fiberglass dumpsters!’

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In this column, we summarize some of your emails and comments regarding RV service centers and repairs (we asked you to submit your stories here). We’ll tell you all: the best, the good, the bad and the ugly. At the end of this article, you’ll find a place to submit your own comments. I encourage you to do so.

Keep in mind, we typically only present one side of the story in most of these. Also, any remarks about service centers and mobile techs mentioned are the opinions of our readers and not necessarily RVtravel.com.

Here’s what you had to say:

Issues go way back!

Gary T. had an RV rental business and even back in 2009 he says there were issues. He explains, “I owned an RV rental company for a number of years. Our rolling stock consisted mainly of Forest River products. Mostly 210T models, which were popular with families. During the last two years of business, I had customers call me to say the water tanks had fallen out onto the street. These were brand-new units. The manufacturer refused to fix them because they were in a rental fleet, so I paid to have them fixed and sued Forest River/Monaco and won.

“That was in 2009. A friend just purchased a new Forest River trailer this year and his water tank fell out. Took it to the dealer and had it repaired after at least two months in the shop. Took it home and packed up for a trip a couple of weeks ago and filled the tank before leaving. Yes, you guessed it, the tank fell out again. In 13 years Forest River hasn’t fixed this problem. Shameful. Especially given the danger of a full water tank falling out on the freeway and causing a fatality accident. Not just a case of ‘if’ it happens. It’s ‘when’!”

Item after item was stolen while waiting for service

Joy B. had nothing but trouble getting things fixed and numerous things stolen. “Had blowout of inside rear tire on a trip home in Dec. Got in to be serviced in mid-January at Camping World in Nashville, TN. Was there off and on until June. I would pick it up and travel in it while they were waiting for parts, then return it.

“The first time I picked it up they had stolen my headset. I threw a fit and they took money off the bill to cover it. The last stay was a long one, about two months. When I went to pick it up I realized my new monitor for my backup system was gone. I went back inside and asked for another one (mine was brand-new). They gave me one but I had to hire someone to uninstall my cameras, re-pair them with the monitor and reinstall them.

“While on my trip I discovered my battery charger for the golf cart and two reading lamps had been stolen as well. Took three days to get through on the phone with a human. Calls are not returned. No sorry… nothing. Just a statement that said, “THERE IS A SIGN IN THE SHOP TELLING YOU TO REMOVE ALL VALUABLE ITEMS.”

“I had a lot of things done to the coach while it was there. Some of the work was great, the bodywork is a joke. For $19,000 I shouldn’t be able to tell where the defects were. They caused some damage to the drawers under the dinette and I had to replace all the drawer glides myself. They took the insulation off my water heater??? And burned up the element to the water heater. Don’t know how much it will cost me to get that fixed. I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone!”

“If I had a lot of money, I would hire a lawyer”

Cheryl G. wishes she had never seen her RV. “Very big letdown on our RV, which we bought brand-new in March 2022. I wish I’d never seen it. It’s a 43 ft. fifth wheel. The Forest River-built awning came off before we got the letter that there was a recall. We were coming home from church and there laid the awning arm. The awning came unglued and it was not open. It’s been four months, still no awning.

“There’s also a big bubble in the shower wall, and the couch collapsed with one night of sleeping in the first bedroom. The fridge is a double-side door and only cools now and then. We are supposed to get a new front door. The cabinets above our couch won’t stay open to put things away. The drawers in the closet fell apart and we’re still waiting on parts. The drawer in my pantry had to be redone. My recliners are side by side and the middle storage on it is busted. If I had a lot of money I would hire a lawyer. I guess we are stuck.”

Rolling fiberglass dumpster

Cory S. has gone through two RVs with buckling floors and has some advice: “Warning: Read reviews for a long time before buying a new RV! We went through a 2020 and 2021 high-end toy hauler. On the first one, the floor buckled between the bedroom and the bathroom.

“Found out that there was no support where it buckled on purpose so the freshwater tank could fit. It flexed going down the road until it began buckling!

“The manufacturer took it back and built another new one. I told them to take their time, but when I received the new one it was the same exact problem… the floor buckled up!

“Additionally, the roof separated—it’s just gobs of goo hiding poor build? Lots of bad things, but really? Floor structure on two in row? Top-end RV on reviews mean nothing—don’t believe it. We lost $15,000 and two years of stress. We will never buy a new RV ever again—rolling fiberglass dumpsters!!!”

Editor’s note

Note from RVtravel.com: If hiring a mobile tech, a small or mega service center, make sure that they are experienced in the issue and have insurance in case something goes wrong. Also, check their warranty policy on the work they perform. Check reviews too and read between the lines—if the review sounds way too good to be true it might be. Compare with several reviews and not just the ones on their website.

Questions for you about RV service

Over the next few weeks, we’ll share stories of your RV service experiences. We want to know:

  • Have you had good luck with great service or not so much?
  • Did you get good service from knowledgeable technicians?
  • Are you waiting to get into a service center or have a mobile tech come out?
  • What has been the average time to get an appointment?
  • Has your RV been in a service center for a while?
  • Are you able to get any mobile techs to come out?
  • Are the service centers able to get parts?
  • When you do get the repairs done, is the price reasonable?

Please fill out the form below and tell us what your experiences have been like. It can be a horror story, an opinion about what’s going on, a positive experience, or anything else related to the topic. We want to know the great, the good, the bad, and the ugly!

Check back next week for more on RV service centers. See you then.

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.

Past RV Service Centers and Repairs Reports:

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21 Comments
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Mitzi Agnew Giles and Ed Giles
21 days ago

May I just point out these are NOT molded fiberglass RVs being referenced here but only people’s experience in regular RVs with fiberglass panels being used in load bearing areas where they shouldn’t be?

captain gort
21 days ago

You need to be a handyman to own any RV, if you want to keep it in perfect condition. They shake themselves apart. After every trip, we have a long “fix-it” or upgrade list for needed items we notice. Then, its DIY…or get in line at the dealer. I DIY.

Allan Taylor
27 days ago

My wife and I bought a used Thor Freedom Elite RV in June 2019. Campers were moving out fast then. We did a walk through with the salesman and noted several things we wanted fixed before purchase. First were the dry rotted tires. We agreed to pay for part of the new purchase of Goodyear tires. During a return trip from OK we suffered a blowout on the outside tire. It didn’t have 2000 thousand miles on it. ( I check tire pressure religiously before we travel). Lost a second one (a blowout) in 2021. Strange I thought, but things happen. When the third one lost pressure and went flat, I looked hard at the tire, the tread was leaking air in 3 locations. Then checked tire manufacture date, 2017, 2 plus years on the shelf before install. We lost at least two plus years of tire use and I suspect the RV dealer was aware.
They were suppose to clean the RV and didn’t. Sewer was still in the plumbing. Low hanging waste line they didn’t fix either. I did

Joseph Auld
28 days ago

Don’t ever buy/ have service done from camping world . YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED !!!!!!!

Scott
29 days ago

Only when the RV industry is under strict regulations like automobiles will this ever be addressed. In the mean time, buyer beware and SHAME on the RV industry. You are a bunch of leeches.

Ron
28 days ago
Reply to  Scott

I agree 100%, but based on the comments in RV Travel since 2016, they don’t want or trust the government, yet they are the ones complaining the loudest. Typically hypocrites unhinged from reality.

Heather
24 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Yes, it gets tiresome when folks always dump on the government while giving big business a free pass. Then they have no one to turn to but lawyers when big business screws them over. Long before Covid, 80’s corporate greed effectively killed downtown small businesses across America. If you want it to stop, stop worshiping the bas*****.

Last edited 24 days ago by Heather
Andrew R.
29 days ago

I have had great experience with using one shop, Olstrum Custom Coach, in Tuscon AZ. They did a bunch of work on our Class A, and I was impressed the team always worked to make things right with the customer. I recommend them when you are in southern AZ.
Otherwise, I have use mobile techs mostly given all the horror stories. We used Camping World once to setup our tow package, and the wiring was not done correctly. Have tried to avoid CW ever since.
I strong recommend using [RVServiceReviews.com] to post about service experiences so others can find out about good (& bad) shops. The more this site gets used, the better resource it will be.
Finally, I think every RVer (or potential RVer) should read the 2016 article series “RV industry death spiral” as it covers the issues across the RV industry. Really eye opening if you are a newbie. I strongly recommend folks do not buy new RVs, but look for gently used models. And get a professional RV inspection before buying!

Heather
24 days ago
Reply to  Andrew R.

All sound advice worth following. Thank you!

Bob M
29 days ago

You know RVs are a piece of junk when no one offers leases on them.

Mark W
29 days ago

Do you want something big or something with high quality?

The plethora of really “big” and CHEAP Class A’s and Class C’s are everywhere…..

People ask me… WHY did you spend so much money on your 23 foot Class B Mercedes Benz Sprinter? Well, it’s a factory built vehicle that was built to Federal Safety Standards like any other automobile and converted from the inside.

It’s quite a different thing with a “box” constructed from fiberglass and wood….

So, ask yourself what do you want….?

And, because it’s smaller and more efficient the cost of fueling and operating a smaller size rig has distinct advantages…. yeah, we just take less on trips. Minimalism is good and less complicated.

Herman
21 days ago
Reply to  Mark W

Agree! We purchased a Ford Transit for our class B with an interior designed by us for us and built by a company noted for excellent conversions. Meets HOA requirements for parking in our driveway, serves as our second family car, excellent visibility on the highway, and pretty decent mileage.

captain gort
21 days ago
Reply to  Herman

Too bad these van conversions are so narrow and cramped inside. They need a slide-out which almost none have. I can’t imagine being cooped up in one during several days of bad weather on the road.

captain gort
21 days ago
Reply to  Mark W

Yes- you are right…when cost is no object, quality often improves.

Impavid
29 days ago

Names of cities and the RV dealer doesn’t matter here. My #1 squeeze and I made a deal on a 40 Heartland 5th wheel without it having its king size mattress. Previous owner told us the RV was on consignment at an RV dealer and it didn’t sell. When they went to pick it up the mattress was gone. Who the “h e” double hockey sticks (can I put the word hell in here?) steals a king size mattress out of an RV. Well, it’s not going to be just one person, it’s going to take at least two. On the way home they got stopped by the police as the RV had no license plate. It had been stolen too. They had the valid registration so were allowed to proceed. The previous owners had insurance for the loss of the mattress and one was ordered and flown in from Indiana. Total cost of mattress and shipping was $1,500.00. Yes and it took two burly guys to wrangle that mattress into place. So, to say remove all valuables from your RV when it’s in the shop is impossible. King mattress prime example.

Elaine
29 days ago

I plan to get started with this in about a year, so actual brand names are so useful in narrowing down what to look for. I’m starting to think anything built in Elkhart Indiana is an automatic No!

Tom 2424
29 days ago

x2 on the Forest River water tank problem. We had a 2021 2509S, and the one and only time I filled the fresh water tank, something large bulged out of the bottom of the trailer (about 6 inches). (I couldn’t see what it was due to the protective sheathing that lines the bottom of the trailer, and was not include to pull that apart.) Thankfully, when I drained the tank, the bulge disappeared. We were never able to boondock at all because of that, always having to hook up to water at RV parks. Very disappointing…

Carol Matherly
29 days ago

I purchased a 2016 Winnebago Forza from Holliday World in Willis TX in Jan 2022 and paid cash for a bumper to bumper warranty. During the walk thru approx 8 items were needed attention. Mistake to have signed the purchase until those items were resolved. I didn’t take possession until March. Took 2 weekend trips and found multiple issues including kitchen plumbing leak that flooded the kitchen. Returned it to HW in and didn’t see it again until end of Sept. I picked it up and drove straight to a mechanics shop as HW didn’t repair mechanical issues. They held it 4 weeks repairing transmission and cab AC issues. I drove it straight home, hooked up water to it in my driveway and the kitchen plumbing again flooded the interior, along with the radio, the stairs, and the hood latch not being repaired. The kitchen cabinet door fell off in my hands as the workers had stripped the screws and the RV was filthy from greasy hand and footprints . Took it back to HW. $4900 bill so far

George
29 days ago

“Keep in mind, we typically only present one side of the story in most of these. Also, any remarks about service centers and mobile techs mentioned are the opinions of our readers and not necessarily RVtravel.com.”

It’s your thoughts I personally would like to hear. I like”conversation”, which by definition generates deeper understanding of a topic. As a private publication the RV Newsletter holds no requirement to print “remarks about service centers and mobile techs” that run counter to the RV image this publication wishes to present. This is not “cancelling” it’s called Protecting the Brand.

I think you have greater promise as a mouthpiece for the RV industry, and we who live the RV lifestyle, rather than to simply be a conduit for the thoughts of others.

My wish is to know you better as an RV professional through >your< words on the topics you report on and publish in this newsletter.

Looking forward to future articles by Nanci Dixon.

Safe Travels always.

G13
29 days ago

Why would you leave valuables in your trailer when taking it in for repairs. First, it’s going to be there for a while. Second, most if not all repair shops have that disclaimer sign for a reason, dishonest employees to shop break-ins. The two times I’ve had our TT in for repairs, I’ve basically stripped it like when we first purchased it, bare. Inconvenience, maybe, but it saves me the headache and anger of finding out afterwards. These are different times, though a little common sense still prevails.

wanderer
29 days ago
Reply to  G13

This is not realistic. They stole an installed monitor screen, lamps, etc. If one is traveling or full time, I guess we’re supposed to rent a hotel room and move all our gear into it, including uninstalling the appliances?

I am sick of seeing these signs ‘not responsible for lost items’, along with a ‘policy’ that one must give them the keys to one’s house/car/stuff and hope for the best; buyer beware, it’s all on you. The plumber does not kick me out of my house while doing repairs, and neither should an RV shop be able to do it either. Well, surprise, my ‘policy’ is you can’t take over my house/car/stuff without giving me a bond against damages in return. I am well aware this is not going to happen, so I have to walk away.

Either use a mobile tech where you can be present the whole time, or a very small shop where you can sit in the cab or wherever you can see what’s going on. It also helps because often the tech has a lot of questions you can answer.

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